Jazz Up Your Old PC with 15 Free Downloads
Piriform's CCleaner is another excellent tool for unclogging your PC. In fact, it's probably the best piece of software you can find -- whether free or paid -- to unclog your computer's arteries. For a start, it gets rid of cache files and junk files left behind by many applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, and all the major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
Close your browsers and tell it to scan your PC; it reports on what it will clean up, and then cleans up what you tell it to. Often, you'll be able to get rid of hundreds of megabytes of files you don't need. If you think you need a larger hard disk, first run this program -- it may show you that just cleaning up your existing one is all you need.
CCleaner goes beyond cleaning your hard disk, though. It also has a Registry cleaner that kills unused entries and fixes bad ones; will show you what programs automatically run on start-up when you boot Windows; and will let you disable ones you don't need.
When you install the program, it also installs a Yahoo toolbar by default. If you don't want to have the toolbar installed, uncheck the box next to it before completing your installation.
Works with: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista
Duplicate Music Files Finder
If you're running out of hard disk space, one of the biggest culprits is often music files. Without realizing it, you probably have plenty of duplicates that hog hard disk space and wreak havoc with your media library. For instance, duplicate files often end up in separate areas in your library under different names, and you end up playing them multiple times by accident.
But finding duplicate music files can be very difficult -- the same piece of music may have different file names and not appear to be a duplicate. This program from LC IBros Solutions finds duplicates by doing much more than looking at file names. It also compares file sizes, performs CRC checks and examines ID3 tags to find duplicates. It then deletes them for you.
Works with: Windows XP/Vista
Easy Duplicate File Finder
It's not just media files that fill up your hard disk, which is most likely clogged with plenty of other duplicates as well. Easy Duplicate File Finder scans your system, shows you in detail exactly what duplicates it finds, then lets you clean them one by one or in bulk.
Although all-in-one programs like Glary Utilities include duplicate file finders, this one has far more capabilities. You can specify minimum and maximum file sizes to search for, for example, and it does a more thorough job of examining files to determine if they're duplicates, including doing a byte-by-byte comparison. It can also protect system files so that you don't accidentally delete any vital ones.
Works with: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista